Grado SR60 headphones Sam Tellig comments
I've owned a pair of Grado HP 1 headphones for years, but I haven't used them much—I have a big house and no neighbors nearby, so I can play my music as late and as loud as I like. Anyway, you just can't drive a pair of HP 1s with the puny little headphone amps found in portable CD players.
But the SR60s, that were reviewed by Corey Greenberg last June?
Now these are 'phones I can use—in place of all the crummy headphones I've been using for years with portable CD players. The good news is that the SR60s sound almost as good as the HP 1s for a fraction of the price, you can drive them with the headphone output of the RadioShack CD-3400, and they're inexpensive enough so you don't have to worry about scratching or losing them.
The CD-3400/Grado combination resulted in a rich, warm, full sound I've never heard from a portable CD rig before. Maybe the sound is a little too rich and full—primarily the doing of the CD-3400, I think—but that's much better than sounding too thin.
I listen to a lot of tubed gear, mainly for its natural presentation of harmonics—truth of timbre. I'm very taken by the harmonic beauty of the CD-3400/Grado combination. It's partly the player, partly the 'phones. The Shack/Sequerra combo with other 'phones didn't sound half as sweet. As always, my test is whether I can listen to chamber music—especially string quartets. With most headphones, no; with the Grado/Shack/Sequerra combo, with pleasure!
If the resolution of the SR60s is not quite up to the astonishing resolution of the HP 1s, so what? The resolution of the CD-3400 isn't quite up to the very best, either—which I think is something that fans of the CD-3400 tend to overlook in their zeal to proselytize. The combination clicks—that's what matters. Besides, the world isn't overpopulated by great $69 headphones—if the SR60s have any serious competition at or near their price, I haven't heard it.—Sam Tellig